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Western Digital’s New NVMe™ SSDs and NVMe-oF™ Solutions Provide the Foundation for Next-Generation, Agile Data Infrastructures

Last updated on June 27, 2020

SINGAPORE, June 25, 2020 – Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC) has announced new solutions that provide the foundation for next-generation data infrastructures designed around Ultrastar NVMe™ SSDs and supercharged by NVMe-oF™. Building upon the company’s innovative design and integration capabilities – from NAND Flash to storage platforms – the new dual-port, performance Ultrastar DC SN840 NVMe SSDs and in-house RapidFlex NVMe-oF controllers are standalone solutions that combine to create the new OpenFlex Data24 NVMe-oF Storage Platform, a new shared storage JBOF (Just a Bunch of Flash) enclosure that extends the value of NVMe to multiple hosts over a low-latency Ethernet fabric network. These new solutions further expand Western Digital’s data centre portfolio to help customers transition to higher efficiency NVMe SSDs and more advanced shared storage architectures to meet the evolving demands of performance-driven applications and workloads.

In today’s global digital economy, microseconds count. As hyperscale cloud and enterprise data centres constantly work to remove bottlenecks to ensure uncompromised performance and availability of essential applications, while also keeping pace with unprecedented data growth, customer adoption of NVMe and NVMe-oF solutions continues to accelerate. Industry analyst firm IDC expects hyperscalers, OEMs and end-user IT organisations to continue to transition away from legacy SATA and SAS interfaces, with NVMe on track to reach more than 55 per cent of total enterprise SSD units shipped in 2020 and grow at a 2018-2023 CAGR of 38 per cent¹.

“The future of Flash is undoubtedly NVMe as it’s all about speed, efficiency, capacity and cost-effective scalability, and NVMe-oF takes it to the next level,” said Jeff Janukowicz, research vice president at IDC. “Many high-performance applications have quickly become mainstay drivers of key business functions and we can expect this to further expand NVMe in data centres for global enterprises. With Western Digital’s long history of NAND Flash innovation and an integrated portfolio of NVMe SSDs and new data fabrics solutions, the company is well positioned to help customers fully embrace NVMe and get the most out of their storage assets.”

Ultrastar DC SN840 Data Centre NVMe SSD

Extending Western Digital’s leadership in dual-port architecture, the new performance Ultrastar DC SN840 Gen3.1 NVMe SSD is the company’s third-generation solution with a vertically integrated in-house NVMe controller, firmware and 96-layer 3D TLC NAND technology. The new Ultrastar NVMe SSD enables enterprise customers to seamlessly transition from SATA and SAS to NVMe—delivering competitive performance of up to 780K/250K random read/write IOPS and capacities up to 15.36TB in a drop-in U.2 15mm form factor. Its comprehensive set of enterprise-class features includes 1 and 3 DW/D endurance levels, full power-loss protection and TCG encryption. Future-ready, it is the ideal solution for a growing number of mission-critical applications that require superior read/write and mixed workload performance, low latency and dual-port high availability—everything from high-performance computing (HPC), cloud computing, SQL/NoSQL databases, virtualisation (VMs/containers), AI/ML and data analytics.

“Being the leader in high performance storage for AI and big data, DDN needs to stay at the leading edge of storage technologies,” said Paul Bloch, president and co-founder of DDN. “We are fortunate to have an innovative partner like Western Digital to deliver NVMe-based all-flash solutions that maximise device performance so we can deliver application acceleration to our customers. We look forward to implementing the Ultrastar DC SN840 NVMe SSD in our solutions.”

OpenFlex Data24 NVMe-oF Storage Platform 

While NVMe Flash-based storage provides enormous performance gains for DAS, SAN and NAS, traditional data centre infrastructure can limit the full potential of NVMe SSDs, resulting in underutilisation of valuable storage resources, inefficient data silos and costly operational expenses. OpenFlex Data24 helps address these challenges by enabling the full bandwidth of Ultrastar NVMe SSDs to be shared by multiple hosts over a low-latency Ethernet fabric as if they were locally attached to the PCIe bus inside x86 servers. This provides greater flexibility for data centre operators to scale-up capacity and more efficiently utilise disaggregated Flash storage to achieve greater performance for the most demanding workloads.

Launching with up to 24 hot-swappable Ultrastar DC SN840 NVMe SSDs, OpenFlex Data24 provides shared storage capacity of up to 368TB in a compact 2U form factor, making it ideal for server storage expansion and scale-out software-defined storage (SDS) environments. The holistic design also incorporates newly branded RapidFlex RDMA-enabled NVMe-oF controllers for unsurpassed network connectivity and extreme low power, allowing up to six hosts to be directly attached with 100Gb Ethernet without the need for an external switch. RapidFlex controllers provide sub-500 nanosecond latency for projected platform performance topping 13M IOPS/70GB/s when adding up to six network adapters to the OpenFlex Data24.

Built for high availability and enterprise-class reliability, the OpenFlex Data24 can be attached as shared storage in high-performance infrastructure deployments or utilised as a disaggregated resource to compose virtual storage systems. The platform is fully interoperable with the award-winning OpenFlex F-series – the only open composable disaggregated infrastructure (CDI) solution in the world.

“Data infrastructure has never been as vital to the world’s economy as it is today,” said Yusuf Jamal, senior vice president of Western Digital’s Devices and Platforms Business. “As a leading provider of essential data infrastructure, our mission is to help enterprises architect next-generation data centres to support business-critical applications and bandwidth-hungry workloads at scale. Western Digital’s leadership in NAND Flash, capacity-enterprise HDDs and supporting technologies are being relied upon now more than ever. We’re fully committed to helping companies transition to NVMe and move to new composable architectures that can maximise the value of their data storage resources.”

Shipments for the Ultrastar DC SN840 NVMe SSD will begin next month and the OpenFlex Data24 NVMe-oF Storage Platform is scheduled to ship in the Fall with a five-year limited warranty. RapidFlex NVMe-oF controllers are available now.

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